Since the children were small, we have decorated a lighted garland with 24 treat filled mittens to use as a countdown to Christmas morning. Every January, the children give their leftover candies to a sibling. This year, while the middle child explained to me what he currently does and does not like to eat, the two of us realized how to solve the problem of five children with five very different preferences.
The Christmas tree has always been decorated with traditional minty Christmas canes. From now on, if you don’t like what is in the mitten for that day, hang it on the tree and take a plain candy cane instead. Did someone hang a cherry flavored candy cane on the tree because they preferred a minty cane? That cherry cane is fair game for a swap. Our Christmas tree will now be decorated in “take what you need and leave what you don’t” candy treats.
Now I need to figure out how to transition the shelf elf from ‘nightly panic over remembering to move it’ to a decoration that I don’t have to deal with daily.